ESTATE PLANNING ± ARE YOUR ASSETS PROTECTED?

This is the first of a series of 3 redmails covering the areas of estate planning, having an upto-date will, and the duties of executors. Watch out for the next 2... Estate planning is a process designed to help protect the wealth you have built over your lifetime, so it is distributed according to your wishes. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR YOU Inadequate estate planning through the use of "off the shelf" products can lead to disastrous consequences for both your family and business. It is vital to: y y y y protect your assets from attack by the family court/ bankruptcy/ creditors; provide you with maximum tax effectiveness and flexibility; ensure your wishes are fulfilled after your death; and minimise disputes amongst beneficiaries.

Without a will, your assets may be distributed according to a prescribed formula set by state legislation. Upon death, your assets or control of your assets may be passed to the wrong person. To ensure that you safeguard your assets and intergenerational transfer of wealth is maintained, estate planning should be an important part of your overall financial plan. WHAT YOU NEED TO DO You don¶t need to be wealthy to have an estate plan in place. There are several questions that you could ask yourself when you are wondering if this is right for you. These include: y Does the combined amount of assets you have and the gifts you have given exceed the allowable amount of applicable exemption? y Does it matter who receives any of your possessions and assets after you die? y Would you like to maximize the value of your total estate? y Would you like to minimize the amount of taxes your heirs have to pay on any assets they receive from your estate? y Does it matter who gets custody or guardianship of your children? y Do you want your children to receive their inheritance after they reach a certain age? If you answered ³yes´ to any of these questions, then you do need to consider estate planning. Estate planning advice will help you to decide whether you require the preparation of a more complex will incorporating testamentary discretionary trusts, amendments to your family trust deed or self managed superannuation fund and a formal estate planning strategy document. FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact Linda Quinn or Emily Ponting at redchip lawyers on 07 3852 5055 or email lindaq@redchip.com.au or emilyp@redchip.com.au redmails are a service to clients and associates of redchip lawyers. If you do not wish to receive the service, just reply to the sender¶s email address and write ³delete´ in the subject line.

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